I have worked in health care for over 10 years. I use to come home after a long 12 hour shift with throbbing achy legs. You know where you can literally feel your own pulse in your legs. I would hear my coworkers talk about compression stockings but I always just shrugged it off. It wasn’t until I started working with the wound care team that I truly came to understand and love compression stockings!
Why Wear Compression Stockings.
There are so many reasons to wear compression Stockings:
- Prevent Injury
- Reduce swelling
- Promote wound healing
- Decreased leg pain or leg fatigue
- Prevent DTV’s
If you are like me you want relief from achy legs after a long day. My everyday compression stocking is 15-20mmHg, this level of compression is very comfortable to wear all day and is easy to put on. For days when my bad leg is swelling or in general acting up I wear my 20-30mmHg stockings. These are a bit more compression making them a little more work to get on, but it is worth it.
What’s the Best for You?
There are many different types of compression stockings from a multitude of companies. Some you can pick up at your local fitness store or online, while other have to be ordered by a physician.
Lets start with the weakest strength, these are called Anti-Embolism Stockings or TEDS. If you have ever been bed bound or recovering from surgery you have probably worn these. They are a rather low compression at 8-18mmHg and their purpose is to prevent thrombosis and to stimulate blood flow.
Graduated compression stockings are therapeutic and meant for people that are up and moving around. They have a graduated compression, meaning they have 100% Compression at the ankle which decreases up the leg. You can find these in multiple strengths, compression is measured in mmHg – Millimeters of mercury. You can find them in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg, and 40+mmHg. For stronger compression you will most likely need a prescription from your doctor. Please do not wear your compression stockings to bed, they are meant to be worn when you are up and moving.
There are also thigh high compression stockings and full compression leggings. For those who have trouble putting compression stockings on there are donning and doffing aids that make it much easier. There are also Velcro compression wraps that can be worn and provide the same compression as a stocking. Do a little research before purchasing your compression garment because there are a lot of options out there for you.
How Compression stockings work.
How compression stockings work is pretty amazing. They apply pressure to the outside of the veins and help reduce their size. This helps the valves close and aids in returning blood to the heart. When you combine that with movement the result is improved blood circulation. Its that simple and better circulation means happier and healthier legs!
If you have existing health concerns such as but not limited to; poor vascular or arterial flow, CHF, lower leg wound, diabetes, etc. Please talk to your doctor before trying any sort of compression. If you do not get the correct compression they can exacerbate these and other conditions.
Now that you are rearing to get out and buy your very own pair of stockings, where should you look. I have a few favorites. (I am not sponsored by or affiliated with any of these brands.) SockWell is an over the counter brand they offer 15-20mmHg and 20-30mmHg in a few different styles for men and women. You do not need an prescription for this brand and they are reasonably priced. If you want to go the more precise route a good brand is Juzo. For Juzo you may need a prescription from your doctor, if you do ask if they can put the order in for you.
Compression stocking have made a huge difference in my day to day life, whether I am working, lounging, or traveling. My once achy and tired legs are now always up for the days challenges.
If you have existing health concerns such as but not limited to; poor vascular or arterial flow, CHF, lower leg wound, diabetes, etc. Please talk to your doctor before trying any sort of compression. If you do not get the correct compression it can exacerbate these and other conditions.